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WB ready to support BD on Rohingya issue

Economy to grow by 6.4pc

 Economy to grow by 6.4pc
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Rohingya refugees struggle to get clean water at the Kutupalong Camp (Extension) in Cox\'s Bazar on Wednesday. Photo UNHCR

By Special Correspondent
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Bangladesh economy is expected to grow by 6.4 per cent in the current fiscal year (FY18) driven by industry and services, said the World Bank on Wednesday.
The World Bank (WB) came up with the projection while releasing  "Bangladesh Development Outlook" at its Dhaka office.
It was disclosed in a media briefing.
 "Through strong macro-structural policy reform and well-coordinated implementation, Bangladesh can accelerate growth, reduce poverty and boost shared prosperity,' said the World Bank.
On Tuesday, the Asian Development Bank projected a 6.9 per cent GDP growth for the current fiscal year in its Asian Development Outlook 2017 Update, down from the government's projection of 7.4 per cent.
Listing some of major challenges and structural reforms that the country has to face in the near future, the WB said, "Bangladesh still has a long road ahead. Large infrastructure projects have progressed in FY17, but key reforms in taxation and the financial sector have stagnated."
It said that excess liquidity and non-performing loans in banks pose risks to macro-economic stability.
 "Both private and public investment is necessary for increasing productivity and employment. The country must take advantage of the global recovery to undertake institutional and market reforms, which can help sustain growth in the long term," it added.
World Bank country director Qimiao Fan spoke in the briefing, while its lead economist Dr Zahid Hussain made the keynote presentation.
Responding to a question, Qimiao Fan said, "If the government wants, the World Bank will support Bangladesh in addressing the Rohingya refugee crisis".
Expressing concern over the plights of Rohingyas, he said, they have fled their home country because of conflict and violence. They urgently need humanitarian responses from the global community. In addition to immediate humanitarian assistance, the government of Bangladesh will need some long-term support to help the refugees and manage the influx impact," he added.
Qimiao Fan further said, the WB has been monitoring the situation closely together with other UN agencies and development partners.
The WB said that Bangladesh's export growth is likely to pick up modestly with the expected recovery in global trade while remittances may turnaround and private investments may pick up and the inflation is expected to be high by six per cent.
 "Severe monsoon flooding has adversely affected the livelihood of over eight million people in 32 districts, as well as rice production. As a result, the price of rice remains volatile along with factors like policy indecisiveness, increased prices in India, Vietnam, Thailand and speculative hoarding," it said.

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